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Culture Shock 2:
Returning Home
Study Abroad: Is it Right for You?

Online Degrees: Advantages and Disadvantages

Culture Shock: Adjusting to a New Environment

Online ESL Study: Preparing Before You Go?

ESL Study Programs: Picking the Ideal School

Scholarships: Do I Qualify?

TOEFL Preparation: How and Why?

Homestay: What Can I Expect?

International Health Insurance: Do I Really Need It?

Culture Shock 2: Returning Home


So, did you think that going abroad was the hard part? Think again. For many students, returning back to their home countries can be a very confusing experience called Re-entry Shock.

For example, many students who come to the United States experience freedoms they have never enjoyed in their country: freedom from family, freedom from cultural norms they didn't like, freedom from the pressures of working in a real job. However, too much freedom and unstructured life can lead to other problems. Students sometimes skip classes, stay out late, and engage in activities that their families and cultures might not approve of, but students want to enjoy "freedom" while it lasts.

When students then return back to their countries, they can struggle with fitting back into the cultural norms and family expectations of the past. Depression is possible and a loss of self can result.

So, what can students do to minimize this re-entry shock? First of all, keep in contact with your family and friends while you are abroad. They will be your first source of advice and support once you return. Second, have a clear plan what you will do when you return. Start looking for a job now or apply to enter a school months before you return. Re-entry shock can be greatest when you have nothing to do when you return.

Randall's articles on this site reflect his own personal perspectives and opinions, and these ideas do not constitute an endorsement for any specific organization or Website.

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